2009 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 2009 22:02:39 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] REUSE, WILDLIFE: Alameda Point (CA) letter from Sierra Club
Sierra Club Northern Alameda County Group (Alameda-Albany-Berkeley-Emeryville-Oakland-Piedmont-San Leandro)
 2530 San Pablo Avenue, Suite I, Berkeley, CA 94702
510-848-0800 (voice) •  510-848-3383 (fax)

February 16, 2009

Mayor of the City of Alameda 2263 Santa Clara Avenue Alameda, CA 94501

Dear Mayor Johnson and Members of the City Council:

The Sierra Club has long supported the establishment of a wildlife refuge at Alameda Point and has appreciated past support provided by the City and its staff for the proposed 549 acre Alameda National Wildlife Refuge at the western end of the former Alameda Naval Air Station.

Regrettably, the proposal for a VA (Veterans Administration) health clinic and other facilities on the property threatens endangered species - the California Least Tern and California Brown Pelican. The VA proposal also fails to provide assurance that any residual contamination that is transferred with the property will be properly remediated.

According to our sources, the USFWS remains interested in the property for a Refuge, but the Navy and the USFWS never agreed on who has responsibility for cleaning up the contaminants on the Refuge site. The Navy subsequently invited the VA to use the Refuge site for its columbarium/clinic proposal. This proposal fails to meet the standards described in a USFWS biological opinion that are necessary to protect the endangered Least Tern and Brown pelican. Nor does the VA proposal provide assurance that residual contamination at the property will be properly managed, should the VA accept liability for such contamination.

Considering the dangers to wildlife and the ecosystem, the Sierra Club opposes the transfer of the property currently designated for the Alameda National Wildlife Refuge to the Veterans Administration. Furthermore, we request that the Navy retain liability for residual contamination on the property after transfer to any entity, and that the Navy transfer the property to the USFWS for the formation of the Alameda National Wildlife Refuge.

We agree with comments of council members that transportation and infrastructure would be easier to provide for health care facilities at locations within the Sun Cal redevelopment area of the former Naval Air Station. We are therefore of the opinion that there are better alternate sites for the VA project outside of this 549 acre designated Wildlife Refuge.

Alameda resident and Sierra Club member William Smith, Restoration Advisory Board co-chair Dale Smith, and wildlife / wetlands specialist Arthur Feinstein from the Sierra Club all stand ready to work with the mayor’s office, council members, and staff to convince the Navy and the VA to consider other potentially suitable sites at Alameda Point outside of the area proposed for the Refuge.


Kent Lewandowski
Chair, Executive Committee Northern Alameda County Group
Sierra Club, San Francisco Bay Chapter


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918

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